There are many ways to make your workout fun without breaking the bank. If you tend to slack off the workout because you don’t have enough time to spend at the gym or lack the motivation, here’s the complete list of top exercises that will hit all of your major muscles, maximize your workout and blast through calories. There are so many that you will never get bored again!
At Home Exercises
Lay on your stomach with your legs extended and toes pointing away from the shins, then stretch the arms overhead with palms facing each other. Relax your head and align your spine. Exhale while contracting the abdominal and core muscles to stabilize your spine. Now slowly extend both legs by maintaining the torso and head in position. Hold the position for a few seconds. Inhale and put your legs down with the back moving towards the starting position.
Pushups are perfect for increasing strength, also engaging the core and lower body. You can practice them anywhere, and there are many variations. Start by kneeling on the mat or floor with your feet behind you.
Now, position your hands firmly on the ground, keeping them aligned with your shoulders. Tighten your abs, engage hamstrings and glutes and flatten your back to keep the body neutral and straight.
Start to lower your body, keeping your back flat and eyes focused. Make sure your body is in-line from head to toe. Exhale while keeping the core engaged and repeat for at least 10-20 reps.
You can also try an alternative position with the hands facing forward. For this, keep your face forward with the elbows close to your shoulders. This position shifts the use of force from the chest muscles to the triceps and helps in reducing the shoulder stress.
*Pro tip: Once you are a pro at pushups, try to mix them with other variations – you can find difficult bodyweight variations online.
Bent Knee Pushup:
This is a variation of standard pushups and is a perfect exercise for keeping arms, chest, and shoulders in shape. While the technique is similar to that of a regular pushup, you will perform the same movements with your knees touching the floor.
This exercise reduces the amount of bodyweight that you have to push up in the air, making it great for beginners. Start by lying on the floor with the stomach touching the mat. With your hands pressed against the floor, push the body upward.
Make sure to position your hands at a shoulder-width distance. With this, you will feel the weight on your shoulders and some stress on the wrist joints. Once down, slowly lower the body by keeping your head and torso in-line with the spine. Repeat at least ten reps.
This type of push-up makes your upper body and core stronger. To begin with, come in a push-up position with your back straight and your torso under control. Now bring your knee outside the elbow and hold the position. Now return to the starting position and extend through the elbows with the same process. Switch legs and alternate sides for each rep.
Hand and Leg-Raise Pushup:
Start by balancing on one leg! Begin from the top with one hand out in front of the other. Now lift the leg on the opposite side with your core tight and leg straight. Make sure that your back is in-line and the torso under control. Reach down to the floor, extend at elbows and then return to the initial position. Perform at least 5-10 reps and then switch hands.
Single Arm Raises Push-Up:
This variation will build your leg muscles. Start this exercise like a normal push-up (lay on the floor with the hands firmly pressed on the ground and feet wide at butt distance). Now extend one arm above your head so that you can feel your abdominal and legs muscles stretch. Push yourself up in the air and start doing pushups in the same position. Lower your hand and body to make them ready for the next rep. Switch arms and continue the set.
Come in a side plank position and raise your arm up in the air. Make sure to place your feet firmly on the ground, and press your hands against the floor. Now begin with your elbows bent and torso straight.
Turn on one shoulder and raise your hand as high as possible toward the ceiling. Practice the pushups holding this position. Switch legs and arms and continue reps.
Hip Twist Pushup:
This pushup challenges the arms, core, and shoulders. To begin, start at the top of the push-up with the elbows extended and torso straight. Kick one leg under and across your body. Now bring your chest close to the floor but make sure your hips will not touch the ground. Extend the elbows, return to the original position and repeat on opposite sides.
Incline Muscle Pushups:
This pushup focuses mainly on the lower and middle chest and is perfect for beginners who have just started working out. To do this, simply place your hands at shoulder-distance on some firm surface that is raised from the ground. The more you incline the surface, the less intense the incline push-up will be.
This pushup will make your chest and back muscles strong. To do this, bring your body in a standard pushup position. Now push yourself up in the air so that your hands leave the ground and clap together before you return to touch the floor. Try in a quick motion and repeat the process.
Leg Lifts or Contralateral Limb Raise:
Leg lifts work best for abs and legs. While there are many different variations of leg lifts, beginners should start from the following basic one. Lay straight on the mat or floor with the legs stretched in front of you. Make sure that your legs are at a toe-width distance from the body and your hands are down flat on both sides with palms facing down.
Now bend your knees with the legs raised above the ground. Keep the legs parallel to the ground and thighs at 90 degrees. Contract the abdominals and take your legs up straight toward the ceiling.
Bring the legs down, keeping your back flat on the floor. To make it harder, slow down the movement or place a ball underneath your back. Repeat for at least 10-20 leg lifts. This exercise works best for butt/hips, shoulders, and back.
Bent Knee Sit-Up Crunches:
It’s one of the most traditional forms of abdominal exercise. When done in the correct order, this will help you tone and strengthen the abdominal and oblique muscles. Begin the exercise by lying on the floor on your back. Bend the legs so that your heels are planted in front of you.
Maintain at least 12-18 inches of distance between the feet. Now bring your arms behind the head, squeeze the shoulder blades, pull your elbows back and allow your chin to move forward. Make sure that you maintain this position throughout the exercise.
Exhale and contract the abdominal and core muscles while curling your torso toward the thighs. Your exercise will focus on pulling the rib cage toward the pelvis. Continue bending and hold the position for a while.
Downward Facing Dog:
This position will make you feel a rejuvenating stretch all over the body. To do this, place your hands on the floor with the knees placed below the hips and hands against the shoulders. Spread the palms and especially the index finger and come in a turned out position.
Now exhale and lift your knees from the floor. First, keep the knees bent and heels elevated away from the floor. Next, lengthen the tailbone so that it is at the back of your pelvis and press it against the pubis.
Push the top thigh back and stretch the heels on the ground toward the floor. Firm the shoulder blades against the back and then widen them. Keep the head between the upper arms so that it won’t hang. Inhale and return to the position, keeping all body parts aligned.
Dumbbell Floor Press:
The dumbbell floor press is more than just a regular bench-press: it is a stress-releasing, core-maintaining and strength-building exercise that helps you build muscles. To do this, get a pair of weights or dumbbells and lie on your back, keeping your knees bent and feet flat.
Now grab the weights in both hands and keep your arms straight. Start moving your arms in an upward and downward direction. Make sure that your arms are up in the air and never touch the ground. Hold the position for a few minutes and repeat the process.
Bench Press Dips:
Bench dips are the most popular and fantastic exercise to target deltoids, triceps and chest muscles. They will make your chest look wider and bigger. To perform a bench dip, grab a workout bench and sit on it with both hands gripping its edges. Bring your legs forward and make them straight.
Now bend the elbows and lower your butt on the ground, keeping your legs straight. Go down slowly and make sure your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. Push yourself up and keep pressing until your elbows are straight.
Planks are perfect to build the isometric strength of the body. They also help you shed weight from your waistline and improve the posture of the body.
This is the most standard plank, and to perform it all you have to do is lie down with your face toward the floor and your legs extended. Now keep your elbows bent and directly under the shoulders with both hands clasped.
Your feet should be hip-width apart, and your elbows should be shoulder-width apart. Contract your abs, tuck your toes and lift your body. Make sure you make a straight line from head to feet. Hold the position for at least 60 seconds or as long as you can.
This plank looks like the top position of the pushup. Kneel on the ground with your hands directly under the shoulders. Come on toes, contract the abs, straighten your legs and keep your body in-line. Hold the position for a few seconds.
Bring your body to the normal plank position with the hands on the mat and bodyweight on the outer edge of your right foot. Now press your torso up and away from the ground, extending your other arm with the fingers pointed toward the sky. Tighten the lower abs muscles and hold the core for 60 seconds. Return to the normal plank position and repeat the process. Do at least three reps.
Pelvis Tuck Plank:
This exercise works perfectly for the rectus abdominus and transverse abdominus, which are the waist-cinching muscles. To perform a pelvis tuck plank, lie on the floor with your legs extended, elbows bent, feet hip-width apart and elbows shoulder-width apart.
Contract the abs and tuck your toes to lift the body up in the air. Remember, your elbows should be placed directly under your shoulders. Hold the position for a few seconds, bend the knees and tilt the pelvis up. Now keep the abs tight, straighten your legs and again hold the position.
To do this use a stability ball, placing your shins and top of your feet on it. Make sure to place your hands on the ground in a standard plank position. Now engage your core, squeeze your butt muscles and hold the position for a few seconds.
Plank with Elbow Lift:
Get into the pushup position with your hands at a shoulder-width distance. Now engage your abs, squeeze the upper back muscle with the left elbow back and up. Slowly move the arm upward and bring it back to the floor like in a push-up position. Repeat the process.
Twist Knee Plank:
Get into the position of a straight-arm plank and twist your lower body to the left and the center and onto the other side. Now bring your knee forward and touch the left elbow. Hold the position for a few seconds and return to the center. Repeat the position and do 20 reps.